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Hardaker: Outstanding squad

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  • Zak Hardaker looks ahead to the 2021 season.
  • The Wigan centre also reflects on the highs and lows of 2020.
  • Hardaker: “If we can pick up where we left off, we will be a really, really good team.”

Zak Hardaker believes Wigan Warriors will have the strongest squad in the Betfred Super League when the 2021 season begins in March.

After taking to his new role at centre in 2020 like a duck to water, the Englishman is keen to get firing and go one better this year.

Currently enjoying a hard earned off-season, Hardaker explained how he will be making every effort to return to training raring to go.

“I’m going to try and stay as fit and healthy as possible over the break, to come back in good shape for pre-season.”

ES31907-1024x683.jpgHardaker was the second highest points scorer in the Betfred Super League in 2020, notching 140 points in the regular season.

As the return to action edges closer, the 29-year-old is eagar to lace up his boots once again.

“I’m looking forward to the upcoming season. We’ve got an outstanding squad and I think on paper, the strongest in the league, without a doubt. 

“Saints are obviously really strong as well, one to 13. After the disappointment of last year, I’m just really excited. I’m sure the Grand Final defeat will add fuel to the fire for us. 

“If we can pick up where we left off, we will be a really, really good team.”

One of the sources of Hardaker’s enthusiasm comes from the Club’s new signings.

On John Bateman returning to Wigan, he said: “He’s a top competitor. Everyone knows just how good he is. He’s gone over to Australia and shown exactly what he can do against the very best over there. 

John-Bateman-22-1024x683.jpgBateman has signed a four-year deal with Wigan after a two-year spell with Canberra Raiders.

“He’s earned some top praise and massive respect from the Australians, which is quite hard to do from an English perspective, because they don’t give it out lightly. He seems excited to be back home now.

“I’ve known John for quite a long time, ever since I was at Leeds and he was at Bradford.”

Hardaker also showed excitement for a new signing he wasn’t too familiar with.

“I’ve chatted to a few of the boys about Jai Field – I don’t know him personally but I know a few of the lads do.  

“I’ve seen some of his highlights and he looks electric quick. I saw the other day that Jackson [Hastings] had said on Instagram that Jai would be the quickest player at Wigan next year. I’ve seen Bevan [French] and know how quick he is, so Jai must be very quick to beat him.”


😍😍😍#NeverGonnaStop 🍒⚪ #WWRL pic.twitter.com/PJq7SPPvjQ

— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪ (@WiganWarriorsRL) January 1, 2021

But it’s not just the incoming faces that Hardaker is excited about lining up alongside in the coming season.

“There’s also the likes of Joe Bullock and Singo [Brad Singleton] getting the number 8 and 10 shirts, which will only bring them on next season. [See the 2021 squad numbers in full here.]

“I think Singo was an absolutely huge bonus for us, with his passion, grit and Warrior approach everyone expects to face.  

ES30147-1024x683.jpgAfter signing in September 2020, Singleton soon became an ever-present member of the Warriors pack.

“I was really happy when he signed and even more when he started playing because I knew what he would bring.

“He brought Bullock on as well, who has come on even further over the last season.”

Maintaining further consistency from previous seasons, Adrian Lam will be at the helm of the Cherry and Whites for the 2021 season. He will be joined by the recently retired Sean O’Loughlin, who will begin a coaching role for the Club he represented as a player for 19 years.

Hardaker said: “There’s also Lammy, who it’s great to have here for another season and the G.O.A.T Sean O’Loughlin joining him in the coaching staff. I’m looking forward to working under him.” 

To experience a full interactive display of exciting content that helps to bring our new badge and its story to life, visit our badge microsite now.

Get your hands on the new look by checking out our 2021 hummel replica kits, training range and travel wear in our online store.


The post Hardaker: Outstanding squad appeared first on Wigan Warriors Blog.

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